In a down economy, some Florida college students have found a new form of financial aid: food stamps.
The number of Sunshine State students receiving stamps was up 44 percent in July compared to the same time in 2007.
That's about twice the rate of increase for food-stamp recipients in the population as a whole.
Statewide, 54,116 students were receiving the stamps, including 10,506 in Miami-Dade alone. Broward had another 4,311, according to figures from the state Department of Children & Families. Monroe had 51.
The numbers reflect a nationwide trend.
''It's pretty much impossible to get by anymore without some help,'' said John English, a Palm Beach Community College student who has received stamps.
English, 20, said he was in a halfway house when he moved to South Florida from Ohio. And signing up for the stamps wasn't hard.
''I got in easy,'' he said. "But then I got a job that paid a decent amount, and I couldn't qualify for food stamps anymore.''
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